Many young Kiwis could be missing out on thousands of dollars by not having their KiwiSaver account set up correctly and with housing prices and the cost of living increasing each year, every KiwiSaver dollar saved counts. 

 

When you join KiwiSaver you are asked to choose an investment fund type – leave this blank and you will be defaulted into a conservative fund which is a low-risk, low-return option. Perhaps you picked a low-risk fund to be “safe” without really understanding your options. Depending on when you want to make your KiwiSaver first home withdrawal, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars by not being in a higher-risk, higher return option.  

 

If you have already made your first home withdrawal your KiwiSaver balance has no doubt taken a hit and you may even need to start building up your funds from scratch. How much you contribute and what funds you are invested in could make a big difference to whether or not you achieve your retirement savings goals. 

 

General advice for younger investors is to lean towards higher growth funds the further that you are from retirement. This gives your investments time to ride out any short-term losses and provide greater returns down the road. However, you should always check-in with a financial adviser to make sure you are in the right fund for your situation. 

 

Keep an eye out for your KiwiSaver golden ticket 

Every year, KiwiSaver providers are required to send an annual statement to their members. These arrive between April and June and investors of all ages should make sure to look through theirs.

Annual statements can be your KiwiSaver golden ticket. They contain information such as the type of fund you are invested in, projected savings balance by the retirement age of 65 and how that would work out as a sum paid out over their retirement years, and how much you are paying in fees. 

 

It’s very important to look at this information and work out whether any changes need to be made. You should be asking yourself:  

  • If you’re in the right fund  
  • Whether you can afford to increase your contributions 
  • If your current fund has reasonable fees  
  • If you’re happy with the amount of money you’re likely to have in your KiwiSaver by the time you’re 65.  

 

If you think any of these questions need further follow up, AdviceFirst can help. 

Our advisers can help you to set up your KiwiSaver account to suit your specific situation and create an investment plan to help you reach your first home or retirement goals.   

 

For a no cost, no obligation review of your KiwiSaver plans, you can call our advisers on 0800 438 238 or email letstalk@advicefirst.co.nz 

AdviceFirst is a Financial Advice Provider (FSP23242).